Topic

Coronavirus Epidemic

4,829 petitions

This petition won 1 day ago

Petition to Vermont State Senate, Vermont State House, Bernie Sanders, Patrick J. Leahy, Peter Welch, Phil Scott, Alison Clarkson, Peter D. Anthony, Selene Colburn, Barbara Rachelson, Jill Krowinski, Marcia Lawrence Gardner, Anthony Pollina, Brian Collamore, Catherine "Kitty" Toll, Christopher A Pearson, Debbie Ingram, Phil Baruth, Sarah Copeland-Hanzas, Tim Ashe, Becca Balint, Diana Gonzalez, Dick Sears, Jr., Jeanette K. White, John Rodgers, Sam Young, Carol Ode, Charlie Kimbell, Vermont State College Board of Trustees, Jeb Spaulding

Securing the Future of the Vermont State Colleges

As we move forward through the COVID-19 crisis we are seeing more and more businesses and communities being impacted negatively by this. The Vermont State Colleges System is no exception to this! This is the true test of the colleges within the system financially. Each of the four institutions that comprise the VSCS is key to the communities they surround and play an important role in the Vermont economy. Without them, this could cause irreversible damage to local economies within the state. Today we are asking for your support to pressure the Governor’s office as well as the State Legislature to give the State College System the financial support that it critically needs and deserves. The system is facing a deficit upwards of $8.5 Million for this year, which will have real and damaging implications. We are proposing that the state give the system enough money to compensate for the deficit and increase the yearly state appropriation from covering only 18% of the system’s cost to requesting an additional $25 million on top of the current appropriation. The system has been long plagued by state appropriation shortfalls from the state which has led the schools to struggle.  Northern Vermont University-Lyndon, Northern Vermont University-Johnson, Castleton University, Vermont Tech, and Community College of Vermont employ over 1,800 people in every county across the state and provides an education to over 11,000 students, 83% of whom are Vermont residents. Reviving the VSCS is key in reviving rural Vermont and providing not only Vermonters but people from all over this country with the essential skills needed in today’s economy. Northern Vermont University alone contributes about $113 million to the economy. Downsizing even one campus will have significant and long-term impacts on the surrounding communities.   A little about myself. My name is Patrick Wickstrom and I currently attend Northern Vermont University - Lyndon studying both Atmospheric and Climate Change Science. I also serve as the Financial Controller for our Student Government Association, am a Resident Assistant, captain of the Men’s Tennis Team, and a very active member of this campus and its community. My story starts at a young age when I learned I had a passion for weather and growing up in North Texas with our severe weather only grew that passion. When I was about 11 or 12 years old, I learned about a school called Lyndon State College, now Northern Vermont University, and fell in love with it. It was always my dream to attend Lyndon because of the quality of its Atmospheric Sciences Department. As it came time to apply to college, I only applied to one school, Lyndon. I could’ve applied and gone to Texas A&M, Texas Tech, University of Louisiana Monroe, but instead, I chose Lyndon. I knew that going to a smaller school far from home was the right choice for me. When I finally arrived in January of 2019, it was everything I thought it would be. I have made some of the best friends of my life, made connections with faculty and staff that I wouldn’t have elsewhere, and been given opportunities of a lifetime.  I even stayed in the summer of 2019 to work at Mountainview Country Club because I fell in love with the state of Vermont so much. Going to school at NVU - Lyndon has been the best decision of my life and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. Supporting our school and the VSC helps students like me reach their goals and brings people to the great state of Vermont, which helps support its economy.

Patrick Wickstrom
47,810 supporters
Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Carolyn B. Maloney, Rosemary Harold, Brad Hoylman

Don't let Fox News call itself `news`

This petition asks that the FCC revoke Fox News' license until 'News' is removed from its branding, or until it revises its practices to conform with standards of broadcast journalism. The undersigned understand why the FCC does not want to limit protected speech, but demand the FCC enforce its mandate to protect the public interest as concerns broadcasting. The FCC states that "broadcast licensees may not intentionally distort the news," and that "rigging or slanting the news is a most heinous act against the public interest." So why is a cable TV channel allowed to lie, distort, and promote solely Republican causes under the banner of "news"? Since John Kerry's unsuccessful 2004 presidential bid, Fox News has had a clear right-wing agenda, and it has become steadily more biased since Obama's 2008 election. In the Trump era, it has been documented repeatedly (by Politico, by the Washington Post, by Newsweek) how the president repeats talking points from Fox, which in turn broadcasts pro-Trump messaging. Fox News employees join the Trump White House and vice versa; the line between the two is gone. We are witnessing for the first time on American soil televised propaganda, in the style of  fascist and authoritarian regimes. If you haven't noticed this on your own already, it's fully explained by investigative journalist Jane Mayer here.  According to the FCC website "there are two issues related to broadcast journalism that are subject to Commission regulation: hoaxes and news distortion." As measured by Politifact, Fox News is "Mixed factually and borderline Questionable based on poor sourcing and the spreading of conspiracy theories that later must be retracted after being widely shared." This constant stream of misinformation has had a direct impact on the the last several elections, essentially defrauding the nation. In April 2020 their science-denial and misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic is literally killing people. We say, enough, this is madness. Fox News is incompatible with democracy and public health. Right now this country is suffering an epidemic of ignorance. Trump is only a symptom; Fox News is a leading cause, a political operation masquerading as a journalism outlet. Enforcing our broadcasting rules is part of the cure. To be delivered to: FCC Enforcement Chief Rosemary Harold, the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and the Office of NY State District 27, where Fox News has its main office and facilities.

Chris Monroe
8,727 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Joseph R. Biden, Donald J. Trump, Donald trump

Donald Trump, Joe Biden: Cancel Student Loans by Executive Order!

Trillions could be injected into the economy with no tax money needed, and nothing added to the national debt.   Federal student loans have become a national threat.  Before the Covid-19 virus emerged, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. had student loans, and over 80% of them were either unable to pay on their loans, or were paying but their balances were going up.  The default rate for 2004 students is 40%, and these people were taking out less than a third of what today's students are compelled to borrow for college. The default rate for current borrowers will easily exceed 70%, if not far higher.  This is more than triple the default rate of sub-prime home mortgages, and this was all true before the pandemic. By every reasonable metric, this is now a catastrophically failed lending system. The President and Secretary of Education have all the authority needed issue an executive order cancelling all federally owned student loans- about 85% of all student debt. Nothing would be added to the national debt, and no tax appropriation would be needed.  This is, by far, the least expensive, and most expedient way to inject trillions into the economy.  This is not a partisan problem.  More than half of all student loan borrowers identify as being politically independent, or republican. More than 40% never graduated.  All are trapped by a uniquely predatory lending system from which nearly every consumer protection has been stripped- including statutes of limitations, Truth in Lending laws, and most importantly: bankruptcy rights that the Founders called for ahead of the power to raise an army and even ahead of the power to declare war in the U.S. Constitution.  The predatory, hyper-inflationary lending system that has resulted is what the Founders wished to avoid. Critics claiming that cancelling loans will largely benefit people who don't need it are completely wrong!  100% of all borrowers were determined to be "financially needy" as a precondition for receiving the loans. 80% were never going to be able to repay their loans before the pandemic.  What's more: the most successful student loan borrowers tend to refinance their loans out of the federal system. Importantly,  the people with the highest loan balances aren't younger people who irresponsibly over-borrowed for college; they are people over 50, who actually outnumber people under 25 with student loans.  They borrowed small amounts, but saw their loan balances skyrocket over decades of abuse at the hands of this unconsitutionally predatory lending system. People over 50 owe more than triple what people under 25 owe.  More than half of people over 75 are in default, and seniors citizens are having their social security taken from them. Analysts have predicted that cancelling student loans will increase GDP by about $100 billion for the next ten years, but they do not take into account the borrowing capacity (and thus spending) that such a move would free up. This would be another $1 Trillion injected into the economy in the near and medium term.  Some experts even believe that debt cancellation is the only way to avoid a depression! Rest assured, the taxpayers will be fine.  The federal government has been profiting wildly on these loans for many years, and decades of White House Budget data show that the Department of Education has even been making a profit on defaulted loans!  On balance, the taxpayer will have very little- perhaps no- net loss when these loans are cancelled. This is an historic opportunity for the President- whether this one or the next- to cure a recession and create a better higher education financing system for the country. This is YOUR PETITION.  Word of mouth is the best way we have to make it grow.  Please get a few people you know to sign, and paste the link to it wherever student loan borrowers are likely to see it (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)  Also, contact your local media, and tell them to cover it! Petition created by Alan Collinge, founder of StudentLoanJustice.Org and author of The Student Loan Scam (Beacon Press).  

student loan justice.org
858,104 supporters
Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

$2000/month to every American #moneyforthepeople #covid19

**UPDATE: As we near the end of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. And so do the economic consequences. My small business is suffering and my family is afraid – and I know I’m not alone. With newly elected officials taking office at all levels of government, we have a new opportunity to push for more relief checks. The pandemic is at the top of the agenda. Sign to send a message that people need multiple checks to get through this crisis. My name is Stephanie, and I am one of millions of Americans who fear for my financial future because of this coronavirus crisis. With businesses and schools closing across the country to control the spread of this virus, many people have already lost their jobs. Others are being forced to stay home. This is catastrophic for working families like mine.  I’m calling on Congress to support families with a $2,000 payment for adults and a $1,000 payment for kids immediately, and continuing regular checks for the duration of the crisis. Otherwise, laid-off workers, furloughed workers, the self-employed, and workers dealing with reduced hours will struggle to pay their rent or put food on the table. My husband and I own a restaurant in Denver and these past two weeks have been a blur. Our restaurant community is wrestling with seeing everything we all have worked so hard for irrevocably changed. Our hearts were breaking as we watched our staff divide the ingredients in our kitchen to bring to their homes: a dismal token for employees who worked tirelessly every day. Our talented and cherished team, some of whom have been with us since we opened our doors 15 years ago, are now without an income. Like our team, my family has lost all of the income from our restaurant, and business owners and the self-employed can't claim unemployment. This is the story of America right now. For our team and other Americans who can claim unemployment, even the maximum payments will not be enough for most people to continue paying their bills – and avoid slipping into poverty. The facts are, even successful small businesses can’t go months with their doors closed.  But supplying Americans with monthly support until they can get back on their feet can save our communities from financial ruin. We need immediate checks and recurring payments so that we can keep our heads above water.  Congress needs to make sure that we won’t be left financially ruined for doing our part to keep the country healthy.

Stephanie Bonin
1,983,471 supporters